Interview with Minilab Producer, Scott Cameron
Here at Minilab we’re a small but diverse team, so communication and organisation is key to delivering beautiful content for kids! Luckily our new Producer, Scott Cameron, is on hand to keep things running smoothly. I caught up with him to talk career paths and coffee…
In the spirit of all things mini, describe yourself in one sentence!
Caffeinated and friendly, with fantastic hair.
And what brought you to Minilab? What has your career path been like so far?
After graduating in Computer Science and working as a Systems Administrator and Programmer, I started in the games industry as a zero-hour contract tester working for Rockstar North for the infamous “Manhunt”. Since then, I have worked as part of mobile dev studios I-Play and Marmalade Games Studio, EA, and Square Enix. I’ve moved from QA into mobile operations and digital distribution. And now, I’ve recently joined Minilab as a Producer. I knew as soon as I saw the products and met the team, that this was a place I could be happy learning and growing.
What did you want to be when you were ‘mini’?
Honestly, all I ever wanted to do was work on video games. It still seems a little unreal that I was able to do that, or that I’m still doing it!
Back to the present, tell us about your role in the studio.
My daily tasks range from reporting on the performance of existing projects, to planning future projects, analysing the team performance, interviewing new staff, publishing our games on mobile platforms, and smaller tasks like testing, ordering the coffee, and making sure all the hardware works! I like wearing many hats as it keeps my days interesting. To me, my job means being a leader, not a manager. I can only be as good as the people creating the games, so my view point is I work for them as much as they work for me.
How is producing in the children’s app market different from the adult gaming market?
There are logistical differences in terms of what can and can’t be done due to audience age. This includes not tracking the data of children and being mindful that content should be educational. But after the content itself, it’s actually the same if you focus on other aspects like production value, functional quality, and mass availability across the stores. However, I like that my work isn’t only for the entertainment of others, but could also be for the education of others.
Galactic Genius with Astro Cat has been Scott’s first project as Producer here at Minilab.
What’s your typical ‘day at the office’ like?
I’m still waiting on a typical day! As I’ve only been here a few months every day is a learning experience. One thing I like to build in is to communicate with each team member and find out how they are in terms of their work and their life. I want everyone to be able to work to the best of their ability- if they have a problem, I’ll try to help solve it.
What’s your favourite part of the job, and what do you think makes Minilab unique?
I really like the free coffee… Seriously though, the thing that makes Minilab unique is the people. Everyone here cares about what they are doing. They have a passion to make products that have value not only to the audience but to themselves.
I understand you’re a big gaming fan, but is it possible to choose just one game you could play forever?
If I could only play one game forever it would be heartbreaking, but if I had to choose, it would probably be ICO. It’s a game that means a great deal to me for a variety of reasons. I’ve finished it multiple times over the years and I still love it. It’s the first game I played that dealt with concepts like scale, isolation, and vulnerability.
What the most exciting thing that your career has brought you to so far?
I’ve been able to move to London, work for some well-known companies on big name brands, make a lot of friends who I share a lot in common with, and play a small part in mobile games becoming a more diverse platform for new gaming experiences.
Finally, do you have any advice for someone looking to break into a Production role, in the apps industry or otherwise?
If you want to work in one of the many non-core discipline jobs in gaming, like Production, Marketing, PR, Analytics, Business Intelligence, QA, or Localisation then what counts is a mixture of experience, education and demonstrable skills. The way I entered the industry was through the QA path. It has a relatively low ceiling on what is expected in terms of formal education and experience, and can be a step in to the industry to other areas like QA Project Management, Localisation, Production and Design.